ENFOLD by Lyall Harris & the community, 2016

"Enfold" is a Central Virginia community-building project for all ages inspired by the Japanese tradition of folding 1000 cranes in order to bring good fortune. We will fold boats instead of cranes to reflect on and embrace the changing nature of our global community. 

Why boats? The boat is one of the most basic and historic individual and group means of transportation. One thinks of early trade and expeditions, small and large, of native peoples traveling from one shore to another propelled by oars, or to grand expeditions across oceans in vessels with great masts and sails, and to later technologies, such as the steam boat, diesel-powered boats, and beyond. Boats have allowed cultural exchanges that no other then means of transportation could have; they have also permitted atrocities so unthinkable that we are still today, centuries later, recovering. And, perhaps more than ever, we can find much meaning in the simple, rudimentary boat as it recurs in today’s news: fleeing Syrians, among many others, trying to make their way to a new, better life. Boats are thus part of our collective history as well as our contemporary struggle for freedom, acceptance, and community; they are a living document in our subconscious “archive,” symbolizing the collective “voyage” (from one community to another) while also standing in for the individual, singular experience. In this light, building boats, even simple Origami boats, becomes a charged activity that has the power to transform community.


1. to wrap up, envelop; to enfold someone in a warm coat

2. to surround as if with folds; fact is sometimes enfolded in fiction

3. to hug or clasp, embrace; the child enfolded the book in her arms




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